Pop TV President Excited To Have iMPACT! On The Network

Pop TV president Brad Schwartz spoke with the Miami Herald about becoming the new network home for Impact Wrestling. Check out the highlights:

On landing the series: “Dixie and the Impact team were looking for a new home for their series. They had huge success on Spike. Millions of viewers watching every week, and they really enjoyed that success. In switching to another network [Destination America] which didn’t have the distribution that Spike had, they obviously noticed a little bit of a hit to the success that they had. So [TNA was] actively looking for a new television partner, and I think made the rounds and met with a lot of cable networks to see where a home might be. We were on their list of calls, and they came in [about a couple of months ago], and we had our entire team meet with them and listen to the pitch and listen to what they wanted to do — where they saw the company going, where they saw [pro wrestling] going. That’s how it came to our attention.”

On Dixie Carter and her team making a good impression: “I would say the next day we [Pop, CBS, Lionsgate] were all like, ‘We got to do this.’ I’m not spinning this in any way. It’s the truth. When we knew this meeting was happening, there were people like me. I grew up watching wrestling, and I remember going to WrestleMania, and I had my own wrestling name, when I was younger, when we joked around in the basement.”

On Carter: “Dixie is so impressive, and she’s such an amazing spirit with a good, positive energy to her. By the end of the meeting, she had won everyone in the room over, and the next day it was unanimous, ‘Let’s do this.’ Then, it was a matter of can we get it?”

On Impact fitting into their brand: “This goes back to the brand direction that we want to have. When CBS bought the other half of this network and created a joint venture with Lionsgate, and then they hired me to run it, we knew we needed to re-brand the business and create something that was differentiated and fresh and new. Whew we did all our research about how to create a brand that felt different than any other brand that was out there but stay in the pop culture space, what came screaming out of all the research was this emotion of fandom. Fans today don’t sit on the outskirts of pop culture, poking fun at it. They live right in the middle of it, and they love it, and there’s an enthusiasm there, and there’s a spirit there and an optimism there. If you can bottle that up and create a media brand out of it, you would have something that’s very different than other pop culture brands — that might look at things a little snarkily or look at things more from an affluent perspective or an urban perspective or a paparazzi perspective. That was a fresh perspective to look at the world. “And then you ask yourself, ‘Does it work?’ Well, I think Ellen [DeGeneres] is very much like that. She kind of looks at the world like a fan, and I think Jimmy Fallon is very much like that. He looks at the world like a fan. So we knew that there was something going on in culture about his fandom. Coachella is so big it went to two weekends.”

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